What recession? $85 million home hits the L.A. market

The Wall Street Journalreports (subscription required) that real estate developer Mohamed Hadid is asking $85 million for a 48,000 square foot mansion in Bel-Air.

According to the Journal, Hadid says he paid about $7.5 million for the land about six years ago and another $59 million building the home for his own use. The home features a ballroom with seating for 200 people and seven fountains along with a Turkish hammam.

Why is he selling? To build a new home of course! He's already at work on a 35,000 square foot home near the Beverly Hills Hotel.

The uber-luxury listing stands in sharp contrast to the extremely weak Los Angeles market. For January, LA's median sales price of $300,000 was down 35% year over year and nationally, recent data suggests that the foreclosure epidemic has hit luxury housing harder than more moderate real estate. National Association of Realtors data shows that homes valued at over $750,000 are falling much faster than less expensive ones.

Of course, many modest homes in "better" areas bloated in price so much during the boom that even a two-bedroom cottage, if located in Santa Monica, for example, could easily be priced at $750,000 or more. Perhaps the huge drop in prices on homes like these is more a correction to "normal" pricing. Normal for L.A., that is.

But even in the land of highly-paid Hollywood celebrities, $85 million seems a little rich.